9 years I have been a full-time stay at home mom. Almost a decade of me spending all my time with my kiddos. I definitely didn’t think I was going to be out of the “official workplace” for that long. 9 years ago, Stephen & I prayed what we would do after Jude was born. After much thought and prayer, we decided it would be best for me to stay at home full time, to raise our little miracle boy. We counted the cost and a lot of sacrifices were made. At one point Stephen was working 1 full-time job along with 4-5 part time jobs, just so we could make ends meet. We did without lots of the luxury things, like cable, vacations, going out to eat, and even went down to having one car, just so I could stay at home. Stephen would work LONG hours and we wouldn’t see him until late at night because we needed to be able to fulfill our financial obligations. Those were super long days with me being by myself with lil’ Jude, but I constantly reminded myself we chose this. It was super tight but we fought through it, through prayer and fasting, and knew that this was the plan that God had for us. When Jude turned 4 and ready to go to full-time PRE-K, I started looking for jobs as I was more than ready to go back to work. However, Stephen and the LORD had different plans.
Things were starting to look up for us financially. Stephen has a great job and only had to have one job but I remembered all the sacrifices we had to make for me to me to stay home full time with Jude. And to be honest, I was so nervous and anxious and wasn’t sure I wanted to stay home another 3-4 years. Being a stay at home mom is not for the weary. I still laugh when people ask me what I do all day? I really think people think that this is an easy job and I am doing nothing all day. I have been really careful to never get into the “Mommy Wars,” because it never ends in a good place. Staying at home with your kids is really hard work. Working at a full time job and coming home to be with your kids is really hard work. Both positions are really hard. I am not saying that SAHM’s have it worse than working moms. I know that is not the truth. But I also know that when we compare the 2 areas, there is no way that anyone wins. So I will leave it as, being a mom is a hard job. Does it get easier as the kids grow? I used to think so, but seeing Jude at 9, I know its doesn’t get easier, its just a different stage.
Again, we prayed and sought the Lord’s direction in what we would do. We decided it was best for me to give the first few years of Avalyn’s life to me being at home with her. Anyone that has been with me and Avalyn, know that she is a very demanding little girl. Ok, let’s change that to “persistent”. She is always wanting my attention. She sure does make me smile though. She is a literally a princess. She loves to wear dresses and her ‘ballerina’ shoes. She loves jewelry and the color pink. For her birthday, she tells me that she wants make-up. (Lord, please help me!)
There is a saying that reads, “the days are long, but the years are short.” We realized that 5 years ago, when we dropped Jude off at his 1st day of school. It was hard…those long days with him. But these last 4 years of my life with Avalyn have been a challenge at times. Again, we knew there was financial sacrifices that had to be made to be on one-income. But we did it, GLORY to God! As I look back on these last 9 years of staying at home with Avalyn and Jude, I would not trade it for a million dollars. Sure, I would love to have a bigger house, have nicer things or even be able to go get pedicures more frequently. I have loved the sacrifice to be able to stay at home with my kids. I thank God for allowing me to do this. I thank my husband for being so supportive and encouraging. He hasn’t told me that I needed to go out and get a job. He knows the best thing for Jude and Avalyn was to have their mommy with them full-time. Stephen has worked so hard for us to be able to do this. I know that not all moms can do this, but I thank God that He has allowed me to do it in this season of my life.
These last few months, Avalyn has said time and time again that she wants to go to school. Unfortunately, she has an October birthday, so she would have to wait another year until she can go to Pre-K. But like I said, she is very persistent. Daily, she told me she was ready to go to school and why did Jude get to go to school and not her? I knew it was time. At first, I didn’t want to admit it. But then I started talking to Stephen about it. We decided that if I could find a job, then she could go to school. It was not in a budget for me to stay at home while she went to school. I was ready to go out and look for a job. Paying for a 3 year’s old tuition is not cheap. We started praying about a job for me and the right place to put Avalyn in. We narrowed it down to 2 schools.
With me being a stay at home mom, that has allowed me many ways to volunteer. I have volunteered at my local MOPS group through small group Bible studies and the Publicity aspect. For 5 years, I devoted myself to MOPS. I made great friendships there and this has helped me in my journey in motherhood. Had I not had MOPS, I would’ve have not kept my sanity. I firmly believe in the ministry MOPS provides and recommend it to all new mommies.
My parents are the Lord’s servants and are huge examples for me. I am extremely thankful to both of them, because I am who I am because of the way I saw them serve the Lord. If you haven’t had a chance to volunteer somewhere, please do, it will change your life. The last couple of years, I have been able to volunteer at my church, Hope International. I love my church so much and anytime I can help, I do. It brings me great joy to serve. I have had the opportunity to serve in many areas of the church such as Nursery, children’s ministry, Women’s ministry, Graphic Design, Small group Bible studies and in the mentorship program under the direction of our Senior Pastors, Tony and Jodie McCoy.
I have volunteered a lot of my time there. I know that what I do there is not just serving Hope International, but I am serving the Almighty God. For the last couple of years, (yes, years) I prayed that the Lord would open an opportunity for me to work at the church. I knew that it was not possible until I had Avalyn in school. I prayed when the time was right that a door would be opened for me to work there. I didn’t know when the time would be, but I prayed for it, as it was a desire of my heart. So when Avalyn started asking about school, I knew it was time. I started praying more fervently. Stephen and I had decided that we would go forward in enrolling Avalyn in school and believed God would provide a job for me. I started working on my resume and started to look for Secretary/ Administrative Assistant jobs. We hadn’t told anyone that I was looking for a job. After a couple of weeks of prayer, Pastor Tony called me in his office and thanked me for all that I was doing. And then he said, “How would you like to work here at HOPE? We want to offer you a job as church secretary.” I started jumping in my spirit as I tried to hold my composure. I shared with him that we had enrolled Avalyn in school and that I was already looking for a job, but that I was praying that I could work here. Before I left the meeting, he encouraged me to talk to Stephen and diligently pray about this before I gave him an official answer. We prayed about it and a couple of weeks later, we let Pastor know that it would be a Yes! Pastor always says he likes to see people serving before he gives them a job, and that is just what I did.
We decided that I would start the week of school to get the ball rolling and allow me to finish out the summer with my kids.
There are so many things I want to do in my life and I know that God has called me to certain things. I love teaching HIs Word. But I want to encourage you, as I encourage myself, do what God has called you to in THIS season of your life. I don’t know how long I will be the church secretary but I do know that I will serve with all my heart as I serve unto the Lord.
In Psalm 143:8, it says,
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life.”
YES LORD!!! I trust God with my life and my decisions. I want HIM to show me how I should live my life and bring honor and glory to Him. In every area, every twist and turn, every choice, I trust in You God. Lord, Show me the way I should walk.
One more thing I want to share before I close this blog entry…seek God in all your decisions. Pray about the sport or activity to put your kids in. Pray for direction on what activity you can be involved in. Your child doesn’t have to be in sports year round or have to be in every activity that is presented to them. For your sanity, and your kids, say no to some things, so you can bring balance to your life.
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